Dr. Williams characterizes Dr. Auerbach’s appointment as “a software upgrade to JHM 2.0.”
Dr. Auerbach’s connection to the top-ranked division of hospital medicine in the country provides instant credibility to the journal, and his diverse contacts should help his efforts to solicit an increasing volume of high-quality submissions, Dr. Williams says.
His appointment also can reinvigorate members of the editorial team, motivating them to step out of their comfort zone and embrace the challenge of adapting to the rapidly changing world of hospital medicine.
“He’ll bring renewed enthusiasm,” says Dr. Williams, a former SHM president who is a professor and chief of the Division of Hospital Medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. “I firmly believe that’s essential for any growing enterprise. You need an infusion of new energy and fresh thinking.”
With Dr. Auerbach at the helm, JHM is well-positioned to attract well-done, systematic reviews while appealing to authors who are writing about such relevant topics as change management, collaboration, models of care, and transitional care, says deputy editor Brian Harte, MD, SFHM, chief operating officer of Hillcrest Hospital in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, and chairman of hospital medicine at The Cleveland Clinic.
“I hope people say under Dr. Auerbach’s tenure we continued to innovate and do things as an editorial group that other journals hadn’t thought of doing, were not nimble enough to do, or were not creative enough to do,” Dr. Harte says. “And that it was an incubator of novel and innovative and, ultimately, very effective ideas that took the journal into strategic directions that other journals weren’t bold enough to go in.”
Dr. Auerbach is more than capable of steering JHM in those new directions, according to his mentor, Robert Wachter, MD, MHM, professor and associate chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco, and chief of the division of hospital medicine and chief of medical service at UCSF Medical Center, former SHM president, and author of the blog Wachter’s World (www.wachtersworld.com).
Dr. Auerbach is a broad thinker who is capable of recognizing what issues are important to his field before they become obvious to others, a trait that will help him to use the journal to help chart the course for HM, Dr. Wachter says.
He also has the perfect personality for the job. “He is the most doggedly persistent person I’ve ever met,” Dr. Wachter says. “I’ve seen him go through setbacks that would have caused lesser mortals to give up their ideas.…He’s like a prizefighter. He sits in the corner for a little bit, has someone dab the wounds, and then comes back out again for the next round and swings a little bit harder.
“I’ve learned never to underestimate him. It’s an amazing characteristic, and it’s one that is very useful doing something like running a journal.”
Mark Leiser is a freelance writer based in New Jersey.